By Jocelyn Deane
Reading braille of your rented flat like a dating of prehistoric films showed me on YouTube: every image broken down to component frames: finger daubings of your sons a Fisher and Paykel fridge, the lassos of handwriting lessons, the epicycle of a first capital P. Bodies are motionless at 24 frames per second: a horse split into 24 kinds of still, legs fixed. You measure the left bed-side: nothing but pyjama shorts, blue-satin, kitschy as sleep. Before bed, drinking masala, we ration beta-blockers, every - one falls somewhere on . the spectrogrammmm… you sleep-talk as I return to my body— counting until dawn— until cut.
I wanted to write an Aubade, while avoiding/reworking the historic connotations of the tradition. In this case, the ekphrastic element, and how it de/familiarizes mental illness, worked in my favour, creating what Anne Carson calls a “triangulation effect”, by which the three points of the poem— the ekphrasis, mental illness and the aubade— give each other the space to feed into each other, while remaining oblique enough to sustain a sense of conceptual openness.
Josie/Jocelyn Deane is a writer/student at the university of Melbourne. Their work has appeared in Cordite, Southerly, Australian Poetry and Overland, among others. They were one of the recipients of the 2013 457 visa poetry/ shortlisted for the 2015 Marsden and Hachette prize for poetry. They live on unceded Wurundjeri land.